Accessibility links

Breaking News

VOA immigration weekly recap, May 12-18

FILE - Migrants are taken into custody by officials at the Texas-Mexico border, in Eagle Pass, Texas, Jan. 3, 2024.
FILE - Migrants are taken into custody by officials at the Texas-Mexico border, in Eagle Pass, Texas, Jan. 3, 2024.

Editor's note: Here is a look at immigration-related news around the U.S. this week. Questions? Tips? Comments? Email the VOA immigration team:

US imposes sanctions on Nicaragua over repression, migrant smuggling

The United States on Wednesday imposed visa restrictions on more than 250 members of the Nicaraguan government and levied sanctions on three Nicaraguan entities in retaliation for "repressive actions" and a failure to stem migrant smuggling through the Central American country. Reported by Reuters.

Biden campaign launches new ad criticizing Trump's family separation policy

U.S. President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign has launched a digital ad aimed at Latino voters, seeking to remind them of former President Donald Trump's controversial “zero tolerance” family separation policy at the U.S.-Mexico border. VOA’s immigration reporter Aline Barros has more.

New immigration court plan aims to speed removal of some new migrants

(( ))

The Biden administration is creating a new process aimed at cutting the time it takes to decide the fates of newly arrived migrants in immigration courts from years to roughly six months at a time when immigration is increasingly a concern among voters. Reported by The Associated Press.

US border arrests fall in April, as Mexico steps up enforcement

Arrests for illegally crossing the U.S. border from Mexico fell more than 6% in April to the fourth-lowest month of the Biden administration, authorities said Wednesday, bucking the usual spring increase. Reported by The Associated Press.

Immigration around the world

Urgent needs of refugees, vulnerable people surge in flood-hit Brazil

As Brazil’s heavily flooded southern state of Rio Grande do Sul braces for a weekend of intense rain, the U.N. refugee agency is calling for greater support to help tens of thousands of refugees, who are among the most-vulnerable people affected by the disaster. Lisa Schlein reports for VOA from Geneva.

Panama's Mulino says he will close one of world's busiest migration routes

Panama is on the verge of a dramatic change to its immigration policy that could reverberate from the dense Darien jungle to the U.S. border. President-elect Jose Raul Mulino says he will shut down a migration route used by more than 500,000 people last year. Until now, Panama has helped speedily bus the migrants across its territory so they can continue their journey north. The Associated Press reports.

Poland's PM vows to strengthen security at EU border with Belarus

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk traveled May 11 to the country's border with Belarus, which is also the European Union's external border with the autocratic state, and pledged to do more to strengthen security along its entire eastern frontier. The Associated Press reports.

Rights group sees surge in cross-border repression of dissidents in Thailand and its neighbors

Thailand has grown increasingly dangerous for foreign dissidents seeking shelter in the country over the past decade and more repressive of its own dissidents abroad, Human Rights Watch says in a new report. The U.S.-based human rights group dates the start of the surge to Thailand’s 2014 coup, which swapped the country’s democratically elected government for an authoritarian military regime. Tainted elections in 2019 returned Prayut Chan-ocha, the ex-general behind the coup, to power at the head of a military-backed government for another four years. Zsombor Peter reports for VOA.

Conflict, violence push global internal displacement to record high levels

Conflicts and violence have pushed the number of internally displaced people around the world to a record of 75.9 million, with nearly half living in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a new report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center. The report finds conflicts in Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Palestinian territories accounted for nearly two-thirds of new displacements because of violence, which in total spanned 66 countries in 2023. Lisa Schlein reports for VOA from Geneva.

News brief

USCIS recommends DACA recipients submit their “renewal request 150 to 120 days (four to five months) before the expiration date on their current DACA approval notice and employment authorization document.